DDA carries out demolition drive at Kathputli Colony

Clashes break out among authorities, activists and locals

October 31, 2017 01:37 am | Updated 01:37 am IST - NEW DELHI

  Where to go?  Residents of Kathputli Colony watch as DDA authorities carry out a demolition drive at Shadipur Depot in the Capital on Monday.

Where to go? Residents of Kathputli Colony watch as DDA authorities carry out a demolition drive at Shadipur Depot in the Capital on Monday.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Monday carried out a demolition drive at the Kathputli Colony situated in west Delhi, resulting in clashes among the authorities, activists and the locals. Nine police officers and two locals were injured, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (central) Mandeep Randhawa. However, no casualties were reported.

The DDA on October 25 had issued notices to the residents asking them to vacate the colony. The DDA said that the demolition started before noon. The authorities had also made appropriate arrangements which would ensure that no resident was left homeless, it said.

J.P. Aggarwal, principal commissioner (housing) of the DDA said, “Around 1,400 out of 2,800 families have already moved to the transit camp. The last drive took place between December and May this year. The latest drive seeks to send the remaining 1,400 to the camp and another 492 families to Narela.”

The DDA further said that over 400 families had volunteered to shift out of colony.

Further, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs has asked the DDA to expedite verification of the claims of 771 applicants, who were earlier rejected for a house under the re-development of the colony.

Colony redevelopment

“Under the Kathputli colony re-development, taken up in 2009, 2,800 EWS houses were to be built for the identified eligible residents. To enable this redevelopment, the private developer has built transit accommodation for them at Anand Parbat. During the last three years, further to the efforts of the DDA, 1,355 families have shifted to the transit accommodation,” said the DDA. The DDA also said that, to ensure housing for all those eligible, Mr. Puri had directed an early completion of the hearings with regard to the appeals filed by residents against the rejection of their claims, which an appellate authority is dealing with.

It was reported that during the eviction drive, there were major clashes between the activists and the police. CPI leader Annie Raja was allegedly injured during the clash and was later admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. “We were assured by the Urban Affairs Minister that there will be no demolition. It was an abrupt decision by the government. The police and the DDA misbehaved. Comrade Annie Raja was punched and dragged by the police,” CPI leader D. Raja said.

Cops deny lathi charge

The police have denied lathi charge during the demolition. However, they said tear gas shells were used. “The residents started throwing stones at police officers. In retaliation, tear gas shells were used. But no sticks were used,” said Mr. Randhawa.

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